Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton talks homicides, domestic violence

According to Mayor Gorton, the number of domestic violence homicides in the city have spiked recently

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – As the number of homicides in Lexington continues to increase, ABC36’s Danielle Saitta sat down with Mayor Linda Gorton to talk about the spike in domestic gun violence and what the city’s doing to help prevent more from happening.

Last year, Lexington saw 37 homicides which is a record high. Already this year, the city has seen 21, of those 16 reportedly involve a gun.

According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

According to Mayor Gorton, the number of domestic violence homicides in the city have spiked recently.

“In 2022, through today, June 1st we’ve had eight already,” said Gorton. “This is about the power of one person to control another person and so in many cases it’s not easy for the victim to get out of that.”

Mayor Gorton believes part of the behavior stems from local and current events beyond the pandemic, “Now we have inflation, we have people who are economically insecure, we have higher housing costs, we have a lot of issues that are ramped up and impacting people negatively.”

Another part of the issue, according to the mayor, people are leaving guns in areas where younger family members have access.

“We need to go after all those different ways of cutting down the number of guns,” said Gorton. “Of course the city has no authority to make gun laws, that is at the state level and it would be with our legislature.”

Recently, Mayor Gorton says she’s met with mental health, behavioral health and domestic violence specialists to see if the problem can be approached from a different angle.

“We are hoping to look at some best practices and in some ways in which we can come together as a community to deal with this,” explained Gorton.

As city leaders continue to look for a solution, those in the community are encouraged to help be part of it and speak up for victims who might not have a voice behind closed doors.

You can report suspected domestic violence by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. The hotline is available 24/7 in English, Spanish and 200+ interpretation services. The city has more information available HERE.

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